News Releases

FWC proposes extension of stone crab protection into federal waters

News Release

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed draft rules on Wednesday that would extend its state management regulations for stone crab into federal waters off Florida.  

Currently, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has a federal fishery management plan in place for stone crabs.  The Council recently voted to recommend the repeal of this plan to NOAA Fisheries Service (which has jurisdiction to manage stone crabs in federal waters) because the stone crab fishery is centered in Florida and the FWC already plays a leading role in stone crab stock assessments and management.

Most of the stone crab fishery occurs in state waters off Florida, and existing federal regulations for stone crab are the same as the FWC's rules.  NOAA Fisheries Service intends to repeal the federal stone crab fishery management plan before this fall's opening of stone crab season on Oct. 15.

The proposed FWC rules also would eliminate a federal form that would no longer be required after repeal of the federal stone crab plan.

The FWC will hold a final public hearing on the proposed stone crab rules in June and would apply the rules immediately upon repeal of the federal stone crab fishery management plan.

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